The same wit and chatty style of the podcast infuse the book. A hybrid of memoir, cultural criticism and advice, Big Friendship describes experiences that are common in deep friendships but rarely acknowledged ... dappled with novel terms and concepts for common tensions in friendships. The terms would have been useful for Friedman and Sow to have had when their friendship was sputtering ... What most distinguishes this book from other recent writing on friendship is Friedman and Sow’s keen analysis of how politics figures into the practice of friendship ... friendship is a 'real-deal insurance policy' ... Big Friendship is the guide we need to make that investment.
In this thoughtful and highly readable story of their decade-long friendship, punctuated with the relevant social science, we learn about the crisis that sent them to therapy together ... While the book is likely to interest people of every age and friendship stage, its examination of race makes it especially timely ... I do wish they had told us more about the rest of their lives. We learn little about other important relationships ... With this book, Sow and Friedman remind us that laziness in tending to friendships is dangerous, and that regardless of the circumstance, whether geography or pandemic, friendships must be nourished, or they will wither.
I did something I'd never done before while reading Big Friendship: I snapped pictures of entire pages and sent them to friends ... I'm thrilled to report that their philosophy on friendship is as insightful, hilarious, and moving as I'd hoped ... It's impossible to read those snippets from their description without thinking of the people in your life who fit the bill, just as it's impossible to read the book without seeing pieces of your own relationships reflected in those described ... Big Friendship is written, strikingly, in one voice, a conversational one, and whenever they diverge into their own perspectives, the point of view shifts to 'Aminatou' or 'Ann.' That makes the reading experience itself a brand-new one, and powerful ... More than anything, though, they've given friendship a complicated, wonderful love story that will sit with you.